Rock Products

JAN 2019

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26 • ROCK products • January 2019 www.rockproducts.com This is the first in a three-part series on Cemex's Balcones Quarry in New Braunfels, Texas. – Ed. C emex recently marked the 50th anniversary of its Bal- cones Quarry in New Braunfels, Texas, holding an event to celebrate the facility's milestone while looking toward the operation's future. The quarry takes its name from the Balcones Escarpment, a geological formation along the edge of the scenic Texas Hill Country that is rich in recoverable limestone. Balcones Quarry began operations in 1968. Cemex pur- chased the quarry along with the neighboring cement plant in 1994 from Lafarge Corp. as part of a $100 million deal that included other Texas properties, according to a Rock Products news report from that year. The quarry currently processes more than 10 million tons of crushed limestone annually and supports infrastructure, residential and commercial projects across Texas. The United States Geological Survey recently ranked Cemex's Balcones Quarry as the top crushed stone producer in the nation in terms of volume. Celebration Employees, including Cemex USA Regional President – Texas and New Mexico Region Joel Galassini, attended a 50th anni- versary bash held by the quarry, which included a planned quarry blast. "The Balcones Quarry has provided critical building materi- als for projects across Texas for decades, and it has set high standards for innovation and sustainability," Galassini said. "The community has grown up around this quarry, and the quarry has evolved with it. We're proud to be a member of the New Braunfels community, offering quality jobs and oper- ating in a way that positively affects the area. "We build your homes, your schools, your churches," Galass- ini concluded. "We literally build the foundation of Texas with the materials that come out of this quarry." Cemex focuses on sustainability and environmentally friendly operations at the facility. In 2016, Balcones Quarry opened a state-of-the-art water recycling plant at the quarry to dra- matically cut reliance on local water sources. Cemex has also opened a Wildlife Habitat Center adjacent to the quarry to promote conservation and sustainability. The center includes about 17 acres of restored prairie, pollinator gardens and meadows planted with native plants. An educa- tion center and wheelchair-accessible produce garden are also on the site. "Balcones Quarry is a shining example of what an operation can be when it is fully integrated into a community," said Cemex USA President Ignacio Madridejos. "It not only sup- ports the region with high-quality aggregates but exemplifies what Cemex strives to do in every community in which we live and operate, by being a good neighbor." Water Recycling Plant One of the most important aspects of Cemex's Balcones Quarry is its water recycling system. The state-of-the-art system decreases the building materials company's envi- ronmental impact and reliance on water pulled from nearby sources by using 90 percent less water annually than previ- ously used by the quarry's wash plant. The new, fully-automated water recycling system uses and recycles 12,000 gal.-per-min. of water to separate aggre- gate sand fines, which are then reclaimed from the water stream as useable sand product. The water recycling system decreases the need for additional local water and adds effi- ciency to wash plant operations. Balcones at 50 Cemex's Balcones Quarry – The Largest Crushed-Stone Plant in the United States by Production Volume – Celebrated Its 50th Anniversary. By Mark S. Kuhar Balcones at 50

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